Getting these off my chest while I'm still dancing on air like Andre Iguodala. It's mostly stuff I've been babbling about on GSoM for the past 3-4 years, but for review:
- He's a poor man's LeBron, in the best sense: an elite defender and freak athlete with a 6-11" wingspan who can lock down 1s, 2s, and 3s; but also a guy with sick handles and sweet passing who you can run the offense through. Dude was made for the age of LeBron.
- When I say elite defender, I don't mean in the Mark Jackson "Klay/Curry are elite defenders" sense. I mean truly elite. By defensive RAPM, he's the best wing defender in the NBA, by a fair margin: better than LeBron, better than Deng, better than Tony Allen. Coach K (a decent authority on such matters) couldn't stop raving about his D when he was the key defensive stopper on the 2010 FIBA Team USA team that kicked everyone in the world's ass.
- After LeBron, there may not be a player in the league whose slashing, passing, physical game is a better complement to Curry's (and Klay's).
- His assist rates in recent years (5.3, 6.2, 5.5, 5.6 assists per 36 minutes the last four seasons) are pretty comparable to those of Jarrett Jack. He has the best assist-to-turnover ratio in the NBA among wing players over the past three seasons. Effectively he takes over Jack's role as our secondary ballhandler. Instead of all the Curry-Jack-Klay units we trotted out last year, we now have Curry-Iggy-Klay and Curry-Iggy-Barnes, or even (most exciting of all) Curry-Iggy-Klay-Barnes. No less potent offensively but light years better defensively and on the boards.
- He's been BFFs with Curry since the 2010 Team USA experience. Since the trade, the two have tweeted bromantic billets doux to each other.<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Gonna be a great 4 yrs bro! RT <a href="https://twitter.com/andre">@andre</a>: Yo <a href="https://twitter.com/StephenCurry30">@StephenCurry30</a> LETS GET IT!!!!</p>— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) <a href="https://twitter.com/StephenCurry30/statuses/353262617327960066">July 5, 2013</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
- The biggest reason the Nuggets, despite having no "true stars," won 57 games and were the one of the three best teams in the Western Conference this season? Andre Iguodala. He was a true star, just not of the PPG variety. The Nuggets were six points better per 100 possessions every time he stepped on the floor.
- We just upgraded the position of "second best player," which is a pretty huge deal. Bogut (healthy) moves to #3; Lee, Klay and Barnes will be doing battle for #4.
- He was the Nuggets' best player by far in the playoffs: 18.0 pts on .621 ts% / 8.0 reb / 5.3 ast / 2.0 steals per game. That's LeBron-esque, except for the number of shots attempted, which is fine 'cos we have Curry, Klay, Barnes and Lee to take those shots.
- Basketball is a beautiful game. Above all we want the Warriors to win, but (I think) we also want to be aesthetically titillated while they're doing it. That aforementioned Curry-Klay-Iguodala-Barnes smallball unit (either Lee or Bogut at C, take your pick) will be the most aesthetically titillating group in the NBA, bar none: disciplined, ballhawking D, non-stop running, crisp passing, lights-out shooting, highlight-reel dunking ... occasionally punctuated by beleaguered opposing coaches wringing their hands and calling timeout. (The day Brooklyn Nets tix go on sale I'm going to run right out and buy me good seats at Barclay's, 'cos watching the Nets' geriatric, slow and/or defensively inept starting 5 of DWill/Johnson/Pierce/KG/Lopez try to keep up with our team should be a sight to behold).
- We got him for 4/$48M — not cheap (especially since he's 29), but $4M less than the Kings were about to give him before he thought about his BFF Curry, felt sad, and turned them down.
- For this glittering prize, we gave up two pieces of complete deadweight, one year of Brandon Rush coming off a torn ACL, and draft picks. Draft picks are nice, but we're talking about extremely late first round picks, which are things Bob Myers seems to be able to acquire with some used chewing gum and string.
- Seriously, I know dunks only count for two points, but check out this guy's top 10 career dunks.
In sum: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Bravo Bob Myers, you magnificent magician.
And good luck with the D12 show, Houston. (Edit: waitaminit ... or is it LA now???)